WMS: Using data to improve your operations

Three male caucasian persons sitting and talking on a stage.

Together with a well-thought strategy, data will answer your major business questions. And subsequently, also lead you to great insights. In this WMS panel, Felix Jakobsen, Director of Business Development at Zoba, Jonas Seyfferth, Director at Strategy&. and Thibault Castagne, Co-founder & CEO at Vianova, discuss how you can use data to improve your operations. Scroll down to watch the full panel, or read below for a summary of the topics discussed.

How can we make sure that operators are not drowning in data but can generate insights out of it?

  1. Separate data in time frames. The human eye likes organized things. Separating data in time frames is one way to organize what the algorithm will give you. For example seasonal data, monthly data, weekly data. You can look at the data in a way that makes sense with your KPIs and use it as a parameter to make strategic or tactical decisions. ​​
  2. Align the data with your strategy. The data needs to be 100% aligned with your strategy. What do you want to perceive as an organization? Your goals will differ if you’re a manufacturer, an operator, or a public organization. Do you want to grow your business? Improve the products you have in the market? Increase loyalty? Drive down costs? Only when you understand how the data can help you, can you start thinking about it objectively?
  3. Make a list of use cases. If you’d like to have access to indirect data such as GPS located data, you’ll need a list of use cases that justify collecting and processing this data. Use cases are an interesting asset to be shared among mobility operators. A portfolio of use cases can generate insights to help cities create smarter policies, such as repurposing potential parking spaces into mobility hubs.

How can data help increase revenue and decrease costs for operators?

  1. It can improve your market intelligence. If you’re still deciding in which cities you want to launch you can use data to make an informed decision of where the highest market potential is. You can understand very precisely what’s the average household income of your customer, their willingness to pay, very detailed information about your potential competitors, how much discount they are giving, etc.
  2. It will drive utilization. Your utilization patterns in the mobility network are like a breathing lung. Vehicles are constantly moving around the city and in order to increase utilization, operators need to make sure they are always well distributed. Data can help you with this, as well as to find out where your highest demand is and where your competitors are located.

Yesterday morning I arrived at the Hamburg train station and I saw 55 scooters outside. At 5 pm there were still 45. So it was a massive oversupply because our human intuition tells us ok the vehicle goes where it’s quickly driven away from. However, oversupply means that you waste capacity in other areas. Data will help you place the scooters where they can be driven to the train station so that again they can be driven away from it.” Felix Jakobsen, Director of Business Development at Zoba

  1. It enables benchmarking for lifecycle management. You can use competitor data to better understand the lifecycle management of your vehicles. This will help you have a benchmark with practical guidance and lessons learned on how to drive down maintenance costs, when is the perfect time to resell or change parts, who is manufacturing the vehicle, and how reliable they are for example.
  2. It can help to establish a long-term collaboration with cities. A good reason to work closely with cities is that cities with better infrastructure for shared mobility have more utilization. Also, data can help tremendously with arguments for long-term planning and commitments between operators and cities. Cities should perceive the sharing operator as part of their sustainable mobility plan and if given the opportunity even subsidize them.

“Paris is a great example. The political will is there and the city has changed massively over the past few years. Has grown so much in quality of life and I think mobility is a great part of it.” Felix Jakobsen, Director of Business Development at Zoba

Are you in favor of data sharing?

  1. Different data, different purposes. It is important to specify what kind of data we are talking about and with whom are we sharing it. For example, everyday data used to make tactical decisions doesn’t need to be shared with cities. Cities are interested in data that can elevate the sharing-mobility ecosystem, such as data that provides a long-term understanding of demand patterns.

“In Stockholm, there were so many complaints about e-scooters. So we thought we should do something about it. Let’s create parking hubs, create cycling lanes. Our initiatives decreased the traffic 5x - thanks to data.” Thibault Castagne, Co-founder & CEO at Vianova

  1. Data sharing infrastructure. The usage and sharing of data is subject to a series of regulations that establish an infrastructure behind it. This infrastructure is getting more and more complex. Data is not always free or available. It’s important to be precise with which data you are sharing and with whom and under which conditions.

“I believe it’s key to establish an infrastructure with standards, APIs which allow parties to facilitate this cross-organization data sharing. It’s something that the EU is striving for. In Germany the mobility data space is now official, it provides a central sharing network for data. I believe this is a crucial step. The second step is to educate the potential consumer about what to do with the data.” Jonas Seyfferth, Director at Strategy&

What does the future look like for sharing operators?

  1. The elephant in the room will be addressed. Data will enable sharing operators to address the topic of private cars. How many accidents, pollution, and traffic private cars are accountable for? Such information can foment the sharing mobility sector and help put in place regulations that limit self-owned cars.
  2. Success stories will drive more change. Urban planning is one of the few markets where you have complete transparency. Meaning, if a city wants to see success stories from another city, they can. Data from other cities can help sharing operators convince the cities they operate in to work together with them.

“Shared mobility has done in 2 years what car manufacturers haven’t done for the last 100 years - collaborated with cities.” Thibault Castagne, Co-founder & CEO at Vianova

  1. Cities will adapt to new mobility. The younger generations will inevitably ask for improvements in the direction of urban mobility. These advancements not only improve the quality of life in a city but will also be crucial to attracting talent to the city.

“I believe in the end all the cities will have integrated mobility planning cause otherwise, nobody wants to live in those cities anymore.” Jonas Seyfferth, Director at Strategy&

  1. There are opportunities for quantum computing. Quantum computing solves anything way faster than normal computing and it can significantly improve planning, analytics, and logistics. In the mobility industry, it can be extremely effective in route planning.

And finally

Data allows for operational excellence. If you can improve your strategic choices, you can find the data that will support your decisions. Data is a powerful asset for sharing operators to improve their operations and increase their profitability.

Watch the full panel discussion:

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